5.8/10
420
15 user 4 critic

The Moonlighter (1953)

Approved | | Western | 19 September 1953 (USA)
A cattle herder turned rustler runs from a lynch mob and falls, again, for an ex-lover.

Director:

Roy Rowland

Writer:

Niven Busch (story and screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A bitter land dispute causes a Civil War veteran to take extreme action.

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Glenn Ford, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1848 NYC, a Frenchwoman visits exiled former French Marshal Thevenet to ask for his financial help in behalf of his French grandson but Thevenet's house staff schemes to kill him and take his fortune.

Director: Fletcher Markle
Stars: Joseph Cotten, Barbara Stanwyck, Louis Calhern
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

At the end of the Civil War, two friends return home to Colorado and one of them has changed and is violent and erratic.

Director: Henry Levin
Stars: Glenn Ford, William Holden, Ellen Drew
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Robert will do anything to get the big account that has eluded him. His public relations business makes public angels of rich scoundrels. Jean needs someone to save the paper and she wants ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Rosalind Russell
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An American ballistics expert in Turkey finds himself targeted by Nazi agents. Safe passage home by ship is arranged for him, but he soon discovers that his pursuers are also on board.

Directors: Norman Foster, Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio
Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Clive Riordan plans a devilish revenge against his wife's lover.

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Robert Newton, Sally Gray, Phil Brown
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An insurance lawyer unhappy with his rate of company advancement becomes a middleman in deals to recover stolen property from the Mob, thus earning a nice living. But his actions attract police attention and set him up for a double-cross.

Director: Harold F. Kress
Stars: Barry Sullivan, Arlene Dahl, George Murphy
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Olivia Harwood, missionary's widow, meets charming Mark Bellis, artist and rogue, on the ship taking them both back to 1890s London. When Olivia opens a lodging house Mark becomes her ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Allen
Stars: Ray Milland, Ann Todd, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An American destroyer Captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Johnny Kelly, who plans on resigning from the police force and leaving his wife the next day, has a very eventful last night on duty.

Director: John H. Auer
Stars: Gig Young, Mala Powers, William Talman
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In Colorado territory, outlaw Wes McQueen escapes jail to pull a railroad robbery but, upon meeting pretty settler Julie Ann, he wonders about going straight.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Joel McCrea, Virginia Mayo, Dorothy Malone
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A radio network manager's boss makes him air a Serial based on a murder, tormenting a woman involved.

Directors: William C. McGann, William C. McGann
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Beverly Roberts, Linda Perry
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Rela
Fred MacMurray ... Wes Anderson
Ward Bond ... Cole Gardner
William Ching ... Tom Anderson
John Dierkes ... Sheriff Daws
Morris Ankrum ... Alexander Prince
Jack Elam ... Slim
Charles Halton ... Clemmons Usqubaugh - Undertaker
Norman Leavitt ... Tidy
Sam Flint ... Mr. Mott - Bank President
Myra Marsh Myra Marsh ... Mrs. Anderson
William Kerwin ... Tony
Tom Keene ... Sheriff (as Richard Powers)
Edit

Storyline

In the early 1900s, Wes Anderson is arrested for night-time cattle rustling (moonlighting). He had been gone from his home town for five years, leaving his sweetheart, Rela, to wait for him. Wes' brother, Tom, has chosen a different path in life and works as a teller in a bank in Rio Hondo. Tom is in-love with Rela and he pressures her to marry him in Wes' absence. Languishing in a sheriff's jail, Wes is awaiting trial, which promises to be a fair one, at least according to the town sheriff. But an angry lynch mob of local ranchers agitate in front of the jail, swinging a hanging rope and hankering for Wes' blood. When the sheriff leaves his jail for a lunch-break, the mob breaks into the jail, grabs an imprisoned hobo by mistake and hangs him. The lynch-mob believes to have hung Wes but he is safe, in jail. After he escapes from jail, Wes vows revenge on the members of the lynch mob. During the following days, Wes raids the ranches of those who participated in the lynch mob. He burns... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE MOST MAN-WOMAN EXCITEMENT EVENT TO EXPLODE OFF THE SCREEN IN Natural Vision 3DIMENSION! (original poster) See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 September 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le voleur de minuit See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,000,000, 31 December 1953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The locomotive used in this film is the "Sierra No. 3", built in 1891 by the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works in Paterson, New Jersey. It is probably the most-filmed locomotive in history, being featured in scores of motion pictures and television productions in the 20th Century. It underwent a 15-year overhaul costing $1.6M and returned to service in 2010. See more »

Goofs

The sheriff and deputy go together for a meal and leave the old man turnkey while there is a mob outside the jail. Then when the turnkey runs out the back to get the sheriff some of the lynch party easily overpower the lawmen and get the sheriff to identify the rustler's cell. The sheriff talked pretty tough before heading out for a meal. See more »

Quotes

Rela: You've changed, Wes.
Wes Anderson: Nobody stays the same.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits roll up from behind the scene of mountains, and include "Photographed in Natural Vision 3 Dimension", See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great Opening Sequence Then All Downhill
17 May 2012 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Moonlighter (1953)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

A rather bizarre Western starts off with a huge bang but then slowly dies into melodrama. Fred MacMurray plays a man believed dead but he shows back up at his mother's house swearing vengeance on what's happened to him. He then realizes that his former love (Barbara Stanwyck) is now seeing his younger brother (William Ching), which sets off a love triangle. THE MOONLIGHTER is an incredibly disappointing film when you consider the cast and especially after how well it got started. I'm not going to spoil the first fifteen-minutes because it delivers a few key plot points that are best if you don't know them going in. I will say that the entire sequence contains some terrific drama, great action and even a couple good laughs. The entire sequence is build around them wanting to lynch a cattle robber but there are many complications that come from this and it really leads to a terrific sequence. Sadly, after this, the film turns into a silly soap opera and the love story between MacMurray and Stanwyck is never believable. The two of them are always good together and their past films prove that but there's very little fire here between the two. I think a lot of this is due to the silly screenplay, which just goes crazy in the second half of the film and even the director makes some silly mistakes including using a score meant for a comedy during a couple critical killing scenes. The ending is without question one of the worst in film history and how characters just flop is downright silly. Even the big action climax at the end doesn't work as the director brings no suspense to it. The actors are fine and that includes Ward Bond as a bad guy but the film is just a mess. Originally this was shown in 3D but outside of the opening credits I didn't see a single thing fly to the screen so this movie's reputation of being one of the worst 3D movies is probably true.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed